US – Canadian Dual Degree Program

Stand out on both sides of the border by earning two law degrees in four years. Dual degree recipients will be prepared to represent clients on either side of the world’s largest bilateral trade relationship.

Program participants live and study for two years in each country while preparing to practice law in both the U.S. and Canada. Program graduates can take the bar exam in the U.S. as well as the Canadian Barrister’s Exam.

East Lansing is located about a 90-minute drive from the Canadian border, making it easy to transition (and visit) between the two countries.

Students who start the program at MSU Law are eligible for scholarship aid.

For Toronto native Daniel Dylan, MSU College of Law offered an opportunity to experience American college life while readying himself for a career practicing law in Canada. After earning a dual JD from MSU Law and the University of Ottawa, he clerked at the Federal Court of Canada while studying to complete his master of laws (LL.M.) degree.

“It’s an incredible way to experience the operation of law in each country, while being exposed to a diverse range of people and many incredible cultural opportunities,” said Dylan, ’10. “This program offers a great way to distinguish yourself in a competitive, globalized job market.” He’s currently working as an Assistant Professor of Law at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, in Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada.

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How do I apply? Students who begin their JD at MSU Law can apply to the Canadian and American Dual JD program in the spring of their 1L or 2L years. Applicants are chosen on the basis of their academic qualifications and their interest in the program. They must be ranked in the top 50% of their class in order to apply. Interested MSU Law students must submit application materials to the Registrar’s Office. More information can be found in the Student Handbook.

How does the program work? Students may begin the program at either MSU Law or the University of Ottawa. They spend two years at each institution. Students must fulfill the graduation requirements of both Michigan State and the University of Ottawa. This requires careful scheduling and course selection. Program participants work closely with administrative staff at both schools to make sure they’re on track for graduation. Students who take similar courses at MSU and Ottawa must demonstrate that the course content is sufficiently distinct so that they’re not taking redundant classes. This is not an issue for a number of key doctrinal courses (like civil procedure, constitutional law, criminal law, and research), since core legal concepts vary between the two countries.

How do tuition and financial aid apply for program participants? Students pay tuition to the school where they begin law school, and the financial relationship is with this school until both programs have been completed. The same school also administers financial aid for all four years of the program. Students who begin at MSU Law will pay a reduced tuition rate of 50% after paying for 88 credits. MSU Law scholarships only cover up to 88 credits.